Strike ace Hugh Kerr reveals why he quit Lanark United for Rossvale
Rossvale’s new signing Hugh Kerr has revealed that the chance of playing West of Scotland Premier Division football under a former team-mate enticed him to quit Lanark United.
Speaking exclusively to the Carluke and Lanark Gazette, the popular forward, 31, explained why he ditched conference football at Lanark despite the best attempts to Moor Park gaffer Jamie McKenzie to get him to stay.
“I think I would have always stayed with Lanark if the conferences were allowing promotion and we could have gone up this year,” Kerr said.
"The plan was to go up with Lanark and get into the Premier League. Obviously Covid has kind of messed all that up.
"I’m kicking on a wee bit in age so I thought that whenever the opportunity came up with Rossvale I would take it.
"I played with the Rossvale manager David Gormley at Alloa (where they were both forwards). I hadn’t spoken to him for about 10 years but he obviously kept me in his mind.
"I was left wing whenever I played for Alloa and he was a striker, so it was me supplying the crosses to him!
"He asked me if I wanted to go to Rossvale and I thought the time was just right. I’m delighted with that.
"Lanark seemed to be in a natural transition period with Jamie coming in. Obviously Jamie was great with myself and everybody that was there but I just felt I had to go and play in the top league just to give it a crack again.
"There were other offers on the table that I was kind of looking at but knowing what David is like – I know he is a good lad – that he would do everything right and training would be good.
"He was definitely a factor in me choosing Rossvale.”
The Bishopbriggs outfit were ninth in the Premier Division with nine points from nine games before coronavirus ended the 2020-21 campaign.
So how big a jump does Hugh – who has signed a one-year contract – think it will be to go there from a team which was sitting fourth in Conference C?
"I don’t think it will be a very big jump,” he said.
"At Lanark, we kind of punched above our weight quite a lot of the time. We got to the Sectional League Cup final against Auchinleck Talbot (a 6-1 Talbot win in October 2019).
"The scoreline flattered them a lot and along the way we put Pollok out (3-2) in the semi-final – I scored a brace in that game and set one up – so I know I can compete against those teams in that Premier League.
"I think Pollok were top of the league, going really well at that time. We also put Rutherglen Glencairn and Blantyre Vics out in earlier rounds as well.
"But it will be an interesting league next year. I think with everyone coming back, it will be a good test.
"Especially with Rossvale and what we’re looking to do. I was speaking to David and he was saying we’ll be trying to kick on and be a really hard team to beat next year.
"It will be good to be a part of that.”
Hugh will keep looking out for Lanark’s results.
He added: “I absolutely loved that place, George Reid and everybody that’s involved.
"They gave me an opportunity to come back to play at my first home.
"I hope Lanark do well and there could be a return for me somewhere down the line.
"There’s a lot of football to be played between now and that point but I certainly wouldn’t be against it.
"My concentration needs to be on Rossvale 100 per cent just now.
"I think we can challenge next season. I think it would be silly for me to say we will be winning leagues.
"We are just looking to compete, be hard to beat and see where that takes us. I don’t want to put too much pressure on us.”